When’s the last time you made a spur-of-the-moment decision without asking for any input?
If you’re anything like me, you’ll answer by explaining how often you search for certainty with everything. I’ll check Yelp to see which restaurants are worth my time. I’ll pore through online reviews of local mechanics searching for those that have lounges, complementary K-Cup coffee, and plushy chairs. For my wedding last year, I scrutinized countless products to see which were a must for my wedding registry. Last month, when I upgraded my iPhone, I compared all of the models before arriving to my appointment at the dealer. (Spoiler alert: I chose the iPhone 12 Pro Max in deep-ocean blue.)
While these decisions only affect my day-to-day, their impact stops there; the lives of my family and friends aren’t dependent on where I get my Chinese takeout from. In business, however, the decisions we make have the potential to yield significant downstream effects: “Which call center provider will grow our customer retention?” “Which customer relationship management vendor will support our business growth?” “Should we retweet that slightly inflammatory meme about our competitor?”
And yet no decision sends more ripples through an organization than the answer to this question:
Can we succeed with our current technology investments?
Companies still rely on their B2B marketers to convince buyers that their technology is worth the investment. So what type of strong, persuasive content can marketers create that’ll enable sales teams to get buyers over the finish line?
Meet Total Economic Impact™
With over 20 years of experience generating insights and savings for companies across industries, Forrester’s Total Economic Impact™ (TEI) methodology delivers a rigorous cost-benefit analysis that measures the value, business flexibility, and associated risks that are specific to a technology or solution. And just as I might check Yelp before I order from a restaurant, companies use the TEI study as a benchmark to understand the benefits, costs, risks, and flexibility of products before they make a purchase. Some have even used TEI studies to justify and communicate their own investment choices across their organizations and to their executive boards.
With the new year ahead, I’m sure that marketing budgets around the world are being examined as decision-makers decide where to focus their efforts and invest their marketing dollars for the greatest impact. In this two-part blog series, I’ll be explaining three benefits that B2B marketers like yourself can come to expect when partnering with the Forrester Consulting team to create a TEI study for your organization that’ll convince buyers your company is worth their investment.
Speak To Your Buyers With Content That Is Relevant For Longer
When it comes to B2B buying, we know the responsibility of a purchasing decision does not rest on the shoulders of a single decision-maker. (The buying group has entered the chat.) Instead, shift your focus to understanding buying groups that have a seat at the table. Larger buying groups can have at least five personas, if not more. So you’ll need individual pieces of content that’ll target these personas and highlight their interests throughout the customer journey. That means blogs, case studies, social media messages, email campaigns, infographics, etc., for each different persona. Translation: That’s a lot of work.
Luckily for you, a single piece of content can achieve all of this. We know that B2B buyers value content that proves the measurable returns of a solution or technology. And a TEI analysis can do just that by demonstrating how the benefits, costs, risks, and flexibility can influence all members of the buying group — from the CFO to the business unit leaders. For example, some marketers have even used Forrester’s TEI as the anchor of an entire content campaign, generating market interest, fueling future product development with refreshes, and creating satellite assets.
So rather than taking the time to create five new and different blogs, case studies, and social media posts to address the individual needs of each member of the buying group, consider how a single TEI project can deliver all of this today — and how, in the future, it can provide the foundation for you to build more, saving your marketing team time they can dedicate to other priorities.
To learn more about B2B buying groups, read Forrester Principal Analyst Malachi Threadgill’s blog on seven must-dos for buying groups.
The topic of buyer journey mapping is also covered in the B2B Marketing Certification course. I took this course last summer, and I highly recommend it!